Jun 172014

Springwatch 2014Did you enjoy watching Springwatch over the last three weeks? I certainly did. I felt it was the best season ever and not just because it came from the RSPB flagship reserve of Minsmere on the Suffolk coast, although that is a pretty good reason!

For me this year was best for three reasons:

Firstly, those amazing clips into the secret lives (and lives lost) of wildlife close up – who can forget that grass snake taking the goldfinch nestling? Or the secretive lives of the young bitterns exploring the environs of their nest? Or that badger predating all those nests on the Minsmere scrape? Or the cuckoo chick growing humongous with its poor reed warbler parents trying to keep it fed? But what was your favourite moment? Please tell us by commenting below.

Secondly, the sheer enthusiasm of the presenters: Chris, Michaela, Martin, Iolo and Nick. Who cannot be ‘turned on’ to nature after watching them? I just want to get my hands onto some owl pellets and to dissect them to see just what they’ve been eating (or perhaps that’s just me!)

And finally, it was how the programme involved the viewing public, whether by sending in their questions, or their photos, or commenting on facebook and twitter. And more significantly the number of people who signed up and/or took part in “public science” surveys, such as recording what prey items were being fed to the nestlings, or signing up for the butterfly app or applying for a hedgehog recording tunnel.

Clearly, there is a strong demand to engage with nature and the wildlife that is all around us; the programme is a call to all of us who love nature:  we should ensure we go out there and enjoy it, we must shout about it and enthuse others and we should all make the effort to get involved and ensure that nature we enjoy today is still around (and let’s be bold) is even better for future generations to enjoy and enthuse and get involved in as well.

These two themes:-

  • enthusing people of all ages and from all backgrounds to get out there and to enjoy nature and
  • getting involved to help nature

are very much behind the ‘Giving Nature a Home’ campaign of the RSPB and I will be pursuing these over the coming months as the group leader of our group – I look forward to your support as we engage more with the local people and the natural world around us.

Have a great summer!


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